Hollywood has notoriously been a pretty unfriendly place to women in their mid-30’s and beyond — where men ‘mature’ women get ‘old,’ where men’s hair becomes ‘distinguished looking’ but women’s hair gets ‘gray,’ and when men’s faces become more ‘characteristic,’ but women’s faces have more ‘wrinkles.’
It’s definitely been a man’s world with men making the rules – but that’s all about to change.
Angela Bassett, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Jodie Foster, Courteney Cox, Diane Lane, Elizabeth Hurley, Heather Locklear, Marisa Tomei, Ming-Na Wen, Meryl Streep, Cher, Goldie Hawn, and Jessica Lange are just a small handful of some of the actresses who are now 50 or older – and who look fabulous.
Now, even a Bond Girl is going to representative of a more sophisticated class of women with the stunningly gorgeous, Monica Bellucci at age 50, starring in Spectre, a forthcoming James Bond film expected in theaters this November.
And Bellucci isn’t the only one standing up to a sexist and ageist Hollywood, a local Louisiana children’s author is doing so too with her audition video for ABC’s The Bachelorette.
Michelle Hirstius, the 43 year old author, illustrator, and independent publisher of the Juju The Good Voodoo children’s book series, would like to be cast as the next Bachelorette, and she’s more than prepared to tell producers why she’d made a fantastic choice.
After recording her audition for The Bachelorette and posting it on YouTube, Examiner got to talk to Hirstius about her video and motivations…
atombash.com: When did you get the idea to record and submit your audition video for The Bachelorette?
Michelle Hirstius: I have actually been told by many friends I need to go on The Bachelorette! All of the usual girls are so young. I had been noticing the comments on feeds about the show [about] how they it’s lame and it’s the same thing…so I said we need something different. I talked to friends about – well, if I was on the show – this and that…they would say ‘OMG, you have to get on’…well, that’s when I just decided ‘why not?’ Who knows, and the best way to convey my thoughts would be in a video! [laughs]
atombash.com: You make a lot of very good points in your recording, what was the most significant claim that you wanted to convey?
Michelle Hirstius: Age – – – it shouldn’t be so hard finding someone, it gets harder the older you get. Life, children, careers and baggage – all that part. It’s having someone that has lived more of a life and been out there, a real, real person!
atombash.com: Have you given any thought yet to how you’d like to see the show progress with youself cast in it?
Michelle Hirstius: Not sure, but it would be neat for New Orleans to be the backdrop – and not as New Orleans is always portrayed, with a parade passing by or a second-line in the street and everyone says “‘cher” all the time. Traveling dates would be cool but I would want them more real and [with] more down to earth things. I also want to be honest, if a guy is drunk and stupid, I’m going to say something. Also, I would want to see what the guys can come up with on dates – let them plan something. Can they cook, can they hammer a nail, etc? Maybe on hometown dates, not just meet the family, [but] I want to hang with his friends and see how he acts at a bar and out. Also, cast real men that aren’t all emotional about their feelings, and saying they don’t want to get hurt that’s why they never loved again…ugh! Everyone gets hurt! But you have to keep going out there, cause you’ll never find anyone if don’t open yourself up. ‘Oh, I have walls’ or ‘oh, this or oh, that’…get a grip. As Vito Corleone said in The Godfather to his godson, Johnny Fontane, at Connie’s wedding, he shook him and said, “You can act like a man!”
atombash.com: Do you think being a single Louisiana lady differs at all from other parts of the country?
Michelle Hirstius: New Orleans girls are sure different and especially from the part of New Orleans I grew up out east! I just know we want a real man, and we don’t take just anything from someone, we stand up and speak the truth about what we believe. We are loyal, strong, outspoken personalities, and fun as all get out! A lot of men can’t handle that, so, yes it’s difficult.
atombash.com: If the producers called you up and said: “____________ is why we decided to cast you in the show,” What do you think that would be?
Michelle Hirstius: ‘You are what we need to shake things up a bit.’
atombash.com: What is the main thing you’d like to accomplish in being The Bachelorette?
Michelle Hirstius: Just showing something real, an older woman with flaws and not be afraid to put yourself out there. We all have struggles but in the end just be you, someone is out there for everyone. I’m looking for a real one person committed relationship. Not everyone has to get married to prove their love, and have kids and the white picket fence. With the divorce rate as high as they are, and being through a messy expensive one myself, there is no reason why you can’t have a very healthy relationship without getting married. I mention [in the video about] being promised to one another. For years I’ve wanted to come up with the idea of Promise Ceremonies – share with friends and family that you are committed to this person, maybe get matching rings, but not go through all the legality of it, changing the names etc. Just be there for one another without any governing piece of paper saying ‘yes, you are married ’til death do you part.’ Maybe the show will see that you don’t have to have these young perfect people to get ratings. I like the show, I’ve watched for many many seasons, but it’s just getting rough seeing the same thing, I’m not looking to replace what they have just maybe have an option for someone new, a test drive to see what America may want. So are you ready for a change?
In line with Hirstius’ views on singles, in the 80’s, a paper was published suggesting that “a woman over age 40 has a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than of getting married,” which has proven to be absolutely false. But sadly, many women over the age of 40 – and even some younger than that – feel like it is true.
A show dedicated to a more mature woman on the quest to find companionship is something that many, many women in the world in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond, can wholeheartedly relate to, and would watch religiously.
Let’s see if ABC is up for the challenge!
Please watch Michelle’s video – and then comment with your words of encouragement, share her video on social media, and help tell ABC that this idea would put them on the right side of history!